By: Daily Record Staff//January 10, 2012
By: Daily Record Staff//January 10, 2012//
NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics
Publishing and Marketing a Book
Background: A full-time judge asked whether he may copyright a bench book relating to a particular topic that he commonly addresses in cases in which he presides. He also wishes to market the book and collect revenues and/or royalties based on the book sales.
Opinion: A full-time judge may receive compensation for engaging in permissible extra-judicial activities if the source of the payments does not give rise to the appearance of impropriety. Such compensation cannot exceed a reasonable amount, nor can he receive compensation for extra-judicial activities performed for or on behalf of New York state, its political subdivisions or any office or agency. Ultimately, a full-time judge may publish a bench book relating to a particular topic that he commonly addresses in cases over which he presides. The judge may also market the book and may collect revenues and/or royalties based on the book’s sales.